Have you ever visited a website that left you feeling confused about what you should do next? Maybe there were lots of text and nice pictures but no clear call to action? You searched around and tried to find how to sign up or buy something but there was no obvious way to do so. How frustrating. Did you give up and leave the website?
Unfortunately, this is a common issue among websites, particularly for not-for-profit organizations that aren’t exactly “selling” something. But just because you aren’t selling a product or service in the traditional sense doesn’t mean that you don’t want your visitors to take a particular action. After all, your organization has a mission to fulfill and your website is a means of achieving it.
Call to Action
For not-for-profits, including patient organizations, typical calls to action could include:
- Join us (or become a member)
- Sign up for our newsletter (or mailing list)
- Become a partner
- Tell others about our campaign.
In marketing, calls to action ideally lead to an online “sales funnel”, which are actual steps taken to reach an end goal. This is also known as the “customer/stakeholder experience” and should be logical and easy. Even if there isn’t a sale, this concept works for other types of actions you want your stakeholders to take.
The "Sales Funnel"
Consider when you search for something on Google. Your goal is to find websites on a topic of interest. Their call to action and the sales funnel you enter couldn’t be more obvious and simple:
Step 1: Type what you are looking for in the white search bar
Step 2: Press enter
Step 3: Results are served to you in a list
Step 4: You click on the result that interests you. This click is call a conversion, i.e. you accomplished your goal by making a selection.
When joining a patient organization, this is the kind of funnel patients would ideally find on your website:
Step 1: Click a member registration button
Step 2: Select the type of membership you want (on IADPO’s website, we have member categories for associates, affiliates, etc.)
Step 2: Enter your name and address and other pertinent information in a form
Step 3: Submit the form
Step 4: Receive an on-screen confirmation that your registration has been received.
Your call to action should be prominently displayed on your homepage and/or elsewhere on the website that makes the most sense. Having white space around it and/or a button or text in a different colour will help draw the user’s eye to it. And ensure it is “above the fold” on the website.
You can use analytics programs, like Google Analytics to track whether your sales funnel is working and, if not, where people are dropping out of the process. This can be very helpful in adjusting it to ensure a positive and productive stakeholder experience.
Here are a few articles that may help you re-imagine your website to ensure you are “funneling” visitors to become more engaged with your organization: